The BEST Episodes of The Twelve Kingdoms
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: May 9, 2021
Nakajima Youko is your average somewhat timid high school student. One day, a strange man named Keiki appears before her, swearing allegiance. Before she could properly register what was happening, demon-like creatures attack Youko and her friends, after which they are pulled into a different world. A world unlike what she has ever known. Separated from Keiki, Youko and her friends must do whatever they can if they wish to survive in this new world.
#1 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Final Chapter
Season 1 - Episode 39 - Aired Mar 11, 2003
Queen Kei, having learned much about her world, her kingdom, and most of all her people, takes her rightful place, on the throne and in control. Her first order is to rescind the rule of prostration except on official or formal occasions.
#2 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Nine
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Jun 11, 2002
Youko and Rakushun are reunited, and go to see a kaikyaku teacher who, with Rakushun, explains more about the world. Youko's fate is uncovered. Fighting invading youmo, she meets King En.
#3 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Twelve
Season 1 - Episode 35 - Aired Feb 4, 2003
Suzu and Shoukei finally connect and find they have the same objectives. Still in disguise and seeking Enho, who has been abducted by Shoukou, Youko meets the two young women and the resistance at an inn.
#4 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Fifteen
Season 1 - Episode 38 - Aired Mar 4, 2003
Youko reveals her identity to Suzu and Shoukei, and their developing friendship is confirmed. The Imperial Army arrives - to Youko's alarm, as only she is supposed to be able to mobilise it. They realise there is a traitor in the court.
#5 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Fourteen
Season 1 - Episode 37 - Aired Feb 25, 2003
Shoukou surrenders to the queen. Asano tries to redeem himself by delivering a message to Shoukei's rebels, but they are already on the way. Youko, Suzu and Shoukei finally all meet.
#6 - In the Moonlight
Season 1 - Episode 40 - Aired Jul 5, 2003
Queen Kei sends a wise messenger to Gekkei, who has been ruling Hou after killing its king but refusing to take the title. Kei and Rakushun follow King En to Mt Shou, where he goes on a mysterious pilgrimage every year.
#7 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Final Chapter
Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jul 9, 2002
King Kou defeats himself: King En and Youko rout the false queen of Kei and Youko, reluctantly, agrees to take her rightful place. Keiki restores Yuka to Japan, where she finds a strange boy whose art looks like a map of the 12 kingdoms.
#8 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Thirteen
Season 1 - Episode 36 - Aired Feb 18, 2003
The fighting begins, with the resistance proving itself tactically brilliant. Shoukou finds himself under siege and in considerable danger.
#9 - Sea God of the East, Azure Sea of the West - Final Chapter
Season 1 - Episode 44 - Aired Aug 23, 2003
Atsuyu reveals his true nature to the court and in the face of condemnation admits defeat, but fails even then to be honest. King En promises a land of green meadows and fruitfulness to all his subjects.
#10 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Eleven
Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Jun 25, 2002
En's minister explains to Youko and Rakushun Enki's story, and how he came to choose the King of En.
#11 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Seven
Season 1 - Episode 29 - Aired Dec 10, 2002
Wise old Enho teaches Youko about the basics of ruling the kingdom. Shoukei is caught and imprisoned for stealing from Queen Kyou. Asano proves himself less than perfectly sane.
#12 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Twelve
Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Jul 2, 2002
Finding out about the last queen of Kei, Youko doubts her own ability to rule wisely. Yuka finally finds out how King Kou has used and betrayed her, and stops fighting against Youko.
#13 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Seven
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired May 28, 2002
Youko saves her travelling companions, but Rakushun is hurt. Youko takes up with the entertainers she'd met previously, as their guard. They arrive at the port for her to take ship to En, but it's full of officials looking for her.
#14 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Six
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired May 21, 2002
Rescued by the rat half-beast Rakushun, Youko recovers and Rakushun tells her about the world of the 12 Kingdoms. Together they head for En, where they will be more kindly treated. Yuka is betrayed.
#15 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Eight
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jun 4, 2002
King Kou changes Yuka's appearance so she can fight Youko without being recognised - then sends bird demons to do the job when the two young women are on board ship. A larger demon fights the birds, and Yuka changes back to merely human.
#16 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Eight
Season 1 - Episode 30 - Aired Dec 17, 2002
Shoukei bribes her way free and she and Rakushun set off to find Youko. Suza, Asano and young orphan Seishuu arrive in Kei and Suzu unknowingly meets Youko under tragic circumstances.
#17 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Four
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Apr 30, 2002
Takki, their apparent saviour, has less innocent plans for Youko and Yuka than getting them work in an inn. While they make their escape, Asano meets another kaikyaku (people from our world), an old man who arrived before the end of WW2.
#18 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Three
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Apr 23, 2002
Attacked on their way for judgement, Youko uses the mystical sword Keiki gave her. Escaping, the three are befriended by a native woman who feeds and clothes them, then offers them work in another town. On the way Youko has another vision.
#19 - Sea of the Wind, Shore of the Labyrinth - Final Chapter
Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Oct 8, 2002
Keiki, Enki and King En conspire to prove Taiki correct, causing great relief. In the present, in Japan, Yuka is convinced the strange young man belongs in the 12 kingdoms.
#20 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Six
Season 1 - Episode 28 - Aired Dec 3, 2002
As Youko travels through Kei, learning the realities of the kingdom, Shoukei escapes Kyou, intent on taking the Queen of Kei's place and regaining her own kingdom. Asano sneaks onto the ship carrying Suzu to Kei.
#21 - Shadow of the Moon, Sea of the Shadow - Chapter Five
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired May 7, 2002
Yuka believes herself to be the chosen one instead of Youko, and takes up with the kirin Kourin. After Youko and Asano are separated, she tries to kill Youko, but injures her instead.
#22 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Ten
Season 1 - Episode 33 - Aired Jan 21, 2003
Suzu joins the resistance against Shoukou. Shoukei is unknowingly saved by Youko when she nearly gives herself away. Shoukou tasks Asano with finding Youko, since he knows what she looks like.
#23 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Five
Season 1 - Episode 27 - Aired Nov 26, 2002
Shoukei is forced to work as a slave in Kyou. Suzu sets out for Kei, meeting up with the performing group that took in Youko when she first arrived, and meets Asano, who appears to have suffered some sort of dangerous mental breakdown.
#24 - A Great Distance in the Wind, the Sky at Dawn - Chapter Three
Season 1 - Episode 25 - Aired Nov 12, 2002
Suzu dreams of Youko welcoming her as a sister. Shoukei's status is discovered and her life threatened - as is Youko's when one of her officials apparently betrays her.
#25 - Sea God of the East, Azure Sea of the West - Chapter Two
Season 1 - Episode 42 - Aired Aug 2, 2003
Showing surprising astuteness and wisdom, En starts to do what is needed at the same time as advancing to Gen Province to rescue Enki. Lady Ribi, En's insider imprisoned with Enki, tries to help him escape.